As you may have noticed in our recent “Cam Newton doesn’t care about numbers” post, Newton was photographed recently wearing a No. 00 Panthers jersey. It wasn’t a mistake or a prank or a Taco Bill-style alteration.
Though the NFLPA* said earlier in the week that new players who have not yet been assigned official numbers by their new NFL teams would wear NFL jerseys with their college numbers, the rookies who made the trip to L.A. for the 2011 Rookie Premiere ultimately donned their pro duds with a number that inadvertently paid homage to former Raiders center Jim Otto. (Or former Oilers receiver Ken Burrough.)
They all wore “00”, as Ravens receiver Torrey Smith pointed out last night on Twitter (with a quite appropriate “smh”), and as the photographic evidence from the event establishes.
We were told during the week that, at one point, the players were simply going to wear their college jerseys with their college numbers. It remains to be seen whether a full crop of rookies wearing 00 on their first wave of trading cards will make those cards more or less valuable.
Attending the event were Chiefs receiver Jon Baldwin, Chargers receiver Vincent Brown, Colts running back Delone Carter, Packers receiver Randall Cobb, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Dolphins receiver Edmond “Clyde” Gates, Bengals receiver A.J. Green, Packers running back Alex Green, Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson, Titans running back Jamie Harper, 49ers running back Kendall Hunter, Saints running back Mark Ingram, Giants receiver Jerrel Jernigan, Falcons receiver Julio Jones, Raiders running back Taiwan Jones, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Lions running back Mikel Leshoure, Browns receiver Greg Little, Titans quarterback Jake Locker, Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett, Broncos linebacker Von Miller, Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, Newton, Rams receiver Austin Pettis, Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, Jets running back Bilal Powell, Patriots running back Stevan Ridley, Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, Smith, Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas, Chargers running back Jordan Todman, Patriots running back Shane Vereen, Cardinals running back Ryan Williams, and Lions receiver Titus Young.
UPDATE: The NFLPA* tells us that the players wore 00 for Friday’s indoor shots, and that they’ll wear jerseys with their college numbers today, for outdoor shots. Yes, we’re confused. If the world wasn’t ending today, we’d probably spend more time trying to sort it out.